Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Z is for Zipline

Z is for Zipline, a tremendously popular activity on Maui. This zipline is North Shore Zipline in Haiku, in my neck of the woods. It's a canopy style zipline, meaning that people climb up to a platform in the trees and zipline among the treetops to the next platform or area. 

Ziplines? What? A classic or stereotypical Hawaiian cultural symbol? [Shrug] I only had two choices for Z and this one has more tourist appeal!

The first zipline on Maui started at Skyline Eco-Adventures a few years ago. It was wildly popular and since then, a bunch of zipline companies have jumped in the fray. Amazingly, Maui gets enough visitors to support the existence of several different zipline companies:

·        Skyline Eco-Adventures – operates two Maui ziplines, the original on Haleakala Crater, up in Kula, on one side of the island and another, more extreme zipline on the West side of Maui. Plus they operate ziplines on the Big Island and Tennessee. They are on twitter and Facebook
·        North Shore Zipline – a tree canopy style zipline, which goes from tree platform to the ground, along the forest canopy, the tops of the trees.  Features active braking and some rider control. They are new on twitter and less active on Facebook 
·        Pi'iholo Ranch Zipline -  To my knowledge, another tree canopy style zipline. Features side by side ziplines, so there’s less wait time and you can zip next to friends. Active on twitter and Facebook.  
·        Maui Zipline Company – at the Maui Tropical Plantation. I’ve heard this one is more kid-friendly, and the lines go up to 900 feet long.  Active on twitter and Facebook.   
·        Flying Hawaiian Zipline – also starts at the Maui Tropical Plantation but one line is 3600 feet. Claims to have one of the fastest, most extreme ziplines.  I could not find them on twitter, but they are quite active on Facebook

FYI: the video below has an ad and is a little over 3 minutes long. 

What is the best zipline?
Don’t ask me… I think they all feature different things. Some are faster and scarier. Others are pricier, have longer zips, or more lines. Others are better for all age groups because they are not as extreme or physically demanding. Some ziplines let the rider have some control, others are just fun rides. Some ziplines have lots of walking and hiking and are a real work out!  They are located on different parts of the island with different scenic views.  

Is a zipline a “must do” activity?
Some people say yes, others no. You can spend hours looking at online reviews on Yelp, Trip Advisor, or talking with people.  (Just a note, yesterday Yelp showed all the zipline companies on Maui and today is only showing four, with the same search criteria: zipline, Maui.) Some friends loved their zipline rides, and another friend found it a bit tame compared to kitesurfing, but she was also on one of the gentler ziplines. DH and I had a great time on ours.

Are they safe?
I have not heard of any accidents on Maui, though have heard of two accidents on the Big Island in 2011, not by any of the companies listed above. There's an element of risk, but the tendency is for the companies to be excessively safe. I've even heard visitors complain that they felt there was too much safety!  Since ziplines are wildly popular, it would be foolish for the zipline companies to get careless on maintenance or safety.
The path up to the platform.

Do any of these ziplines have discounts or special pricing? Doesn’t everyone want to know? Ziplines usually start at $100 per person. Sometimes they have specials on twitter or Facebook, but almost never on their websites. Skyline Eco-Adventures has a special rate for Zip for the Trees, a nonprofit fundraiser in the fall.  I’ve noticed that Pi’iholo Zipline has specials once in a while, around holidays.

Oh, there is one other way to get a special zipline rate, and it’s tricky. In Hawaii, a common sight is the activity booth or kiosk, usually located in a high-traffic area. There will be a sign with activities like snorkeling, sunset cruise, lu’au, horse riding, hiking, ziplining, etc. with low or ridiculous prices next to each item. The catch is, to get that ridiculous rate, one has to attend a three-hour time share presentation. If you’re a couple, then both of you must attend. 
This is a "discount activities booth" in Kihei. They are usually located in high-traffic tourist areas and often have super low prices. There's a reason why. 

In effect, by trading three hours of precious vacation time, driving time, and possibly becoming the proud new owner of a one-week timeshare once a year ($10,000+), you could get a $29 zipline ride. For some, it’s worth it. For others, caveat emptor.  Enough said.

So far I've only been on one zipline tour with Northshore Zipline. It was extremely scary on the test zip, because it requires jumping off the platform. The first leap is the hardest. Then it got easier and less scary. I never got the hang of the active braking, using my arms and gloved hands to control the speed of the ride. Our guides were funny and entertaining, especially when two people dropped gloves and they had to jump down and get them. I took five million video clips and posted a few on youtube but never got around to editing them in any manageable way. Moreover, my zipline footage could make a sailor seasick. DH and I had a great time and my arms were sore later on. 

There ya go!  End of the A to Z posts for 2013. Ok, well I might do a follow up post on lessons from the A-Z Challenge.

Just remembered! There's a Facebook contest on best eco-tour guide. Please consider voting for Joe of Skyline Eco-Adventures.

Aloha and mahalo (thank you) for reading!

If you are commenting from the A to Z challenge, please include a link. 

I'm doing my best to keep up with commenting, but do sometimes get behind. Mahalo for understanding!

Monday, April 29, 2013

Y is for Yellow Hibiscus

True or false?

The state flower of Hawaii is a yellow hibiscus.

True, but a trick question. It’s not just ANY garden variety yellow hibiscus in Hawaii. Like other Hawaiian cultural symbols in this A-Z series, there’s more to the story.

Source of original photo: Forest and Kim Starr. Creative commons licensed.
Image has been altered, with text added. 
Growing up, I thought the state flower was any hibiscus, especially the red hibiscus, which grows practically on every street in Hawaii. I was not the only one. In 1988, the state legislature made their selection of state flower very clear: Hibiscus brackenridgei, Hawaiian name ma’o hau hele, roughly pronounced like “mah oh how hell ey”.  Still yet, even this week, I have visited other websites which simply state that the yellow hibiscus is the state flower. It’s just not completely true.

Hawaii’s state flower is a very special native hibiscus with vivid yellow flowers that only blooms once or maybe twice a year, usually in the winter and/or spring. It’s endangered too, but is becoming cultivated in local gardens, although it is susceptible to white flies, Chinese rose beetles and excess moisture.  I won’t try growing them where I live in Haiku, where plants need to have a wet suit, snorkel and mask to thrive! If you do want to grow them, this is a helpful link on cultivating and propagating the native yellow species.

This native yellow hibiscus is not the only indigenous hibiscus either, as I have seen exquisite white native flowers at Fleming Arboretum.

According to Shannon Wianecki, a knowledgeable free lance writer and conservation volunteer, the state flower is:

easy to grow at home (minus the bugs) but it's endangered in the wild, where very few individual plants remain. Feral ungulates such as deer and goats like to nibble it to the ground. It thrives in full sun, in the hot dryland forest areas. It's endemic, which means it evolved here in Hawaii and exists nowhere else on earth.”

Will the real state flower of Hawaii please stand up?
Source: Forest and Kim Starr. Photo is creative commons licensed.
Native yellow hibiscus is not exactly a needle in a haystack, but it's hard to find in the wild. The Native Hawaiian Plant Society’s April service project was a trip to a special “exclosure” of H. breckenridgei in the wild. I haven’t heard back from them yet, but imagine a fenced in area of blooming yellow hibiscus with hungry deer and goats pacing outside looking for a way in. If NHPS goes again next April, I’m putting it on my calendar.

The name of the native yellow hibiscus is also intriguing: ma’o hau hele which refers to how the plants “travel” to reproduce.

The native Hawaiians, according to Maui Nui Botanical Gardens, made a blue-gray dye from the flowers, to color their tapa bark cloth (what ancient Hawaiians wore in the days before the “grass skirt”).  The state flower’s bark could also be made into cordage or rope which was extremely useful at a time when nails and hammers didn’t exist. The native yellow hibiscus is blooming now at the Maui Nui Botanical Gardens, though I had to laugh at  MNBG’s sense of humor, and I found out the flowers do not open up all day. 

What’s important about native or indigenous Hawaiian plants is that they are part of the ecosystem on the islands. Many native plants are rare or endangered, by habitat loss or other introduced species. They have important cultural traditions associated with them and when they disappear, certain genetic and cultural information is lost too. 

Update 6/3/13: Irene of the Native Hawaiian Plant Society provided a useful tip to figure out whether a yellow hibiscus is native or not. 

"Non-native yellow have oblong leaves, natives the maple-shaped leaves. BTW - Costco has planted a bunch of them around the gas station and some of them were flowering [in May]."

In writing this post, I’d like to highlight some of the organizations that promote the preservation and cultivation of native species. For the most part, they are off the beaten track for tourists, but if you’re reading this post and eventually come to Maui, please consider a volunteer stint or field trip with one of these places:

If you are elsewhere in Hawaii (not just Maui), check out:

Just found these photos of the native yellow hibiscus on the Facebook page of Flyin Hawaiian Zipline,
which is involved in restoration efforts on zipline land. These are all fairly young hibiscus plants.
I love that these photos show the leaves and habitat of the native hibiscus.
I've collaged some of their FB photos together. Mahalo for their conservation efforts!

Special mahalos (thank you’s) to the sources involved in researching this post:

Surprisingly I thought this would be the easiest A-Z post to do, and it turned into one of the more complex. Yellow hibiscus… not as simple as it looked. 

Aloha and mahalo (thank you) for reading!

If you are commenting from the 
A to Z challenge, please include a link. 
I'm doing my best to keep up with commenting, but do sometimes get behind. Mahalo for understanding!

Saturday, April 27, 2013

X is for XOXOXO (or Love)

Sunset wedding on the overlook over Big Beach, Makena.

Yes, hugs and kisses, romance, sunsets, love, honeymoons and weddings. Hawaii represents all these things as an international romance destination. Granted, XO is a bit gimmicky, but there are not a lot of things that start with the letter X.

Now for a silly romance poem:
Ah, Hawaii, how do I love thee as a symbol of romance? 
I love thee for the depth and breadth of your sunsets on which to gaze along my fair love's sunburned cheek.
I love thee for thy promenade of weddings on the beach, the exhausted conch shell blower barely able to muster a breath after the fourth wedding of the day.
I love thee for thy champagne toasts and romantic beaches as couples walk dizzily hand in hand looking for lost car keys in the sand.
I love thee for thy beautiful waves that have stolen my honeymoon sunglasses and beach hat from my head as we embraced in the water.

You get the picture. I'm being a bit tongue in cheek. 

Weddings and honeymoons and romance are a major part of Hawaii's tourism culture. 

Romance is a tricky business though. There are stories of couples who come to Maui for the first time. One variation is that half the couple comes back to Maui with a different partner the following year. The other variation is that next year, the same couple comes back for their honeymoon or wedding. The year after, they come back with a baby. Then there's a gap, and they come back with another baby. Hawaii is a great place to start a family!  Some tourists may not even see the outside of their hotel room! 

I'm going to give a favor to some Maui bloggers and include a few links, to view at your own discretion:

Source: annakimphotography.com via Courtney on Pinterest
Mahalo Anna for allowing me to reuse your photo!

Yes, "Just Mauid" or "Maui'd" is a sign you'll see here. 

Aloha and mahalo (thank you) for reading!

If you are commenting from the 
A to Z challenge, please include a link. 
I'm doing my best to keep up with commenting, but do sometimes get behind. Mahalo for understanding!

Friday, April 26, 2013

W is for Waikiki

Wha-ack-kee-kee, with a twang on the first syllable. That’s how Waikiki is often pronounced, even though locals will say, “Why-kee-kee.” Waikiki is one of the few places that most people outside of Hawaii have heard of. It’s always been a symbolic place in Hawaii tourism, and to my knowledge, the first place in the islands to be developed into a resort area.

Ahem, this post gets a bit steamy... and may not be appropriate for all readers. 

Original Source: Wikpedia Creative Commons by Cristo Vlahos
I have altered this image and added text.
Notice Diamond Head from the M post in the background. 

Growing up on Oahu, I hardly ever ventured into Waikiki. The local attitude was that Waikiki was where all the tourists were kept, mostly for their own safety and well-being. There were well-defined areas for residents and tourists. While tourists could venture outside of Waikiki, no resident in his or her right mind would go into Waikiki to hang out. Waikiki was a place to get hotel jobs like cleaning and valet parking. One had to have a reason to go to Waikiki.

And years later, I met my husband, who had an entirely different take on Waikiki. To him, Waikiki was heaven on earth for single men. It was a place where married women took off their wedding rings. A place where a man could flash an inviting smile to a woman on the beach and she’d say, “Your place or mine?” If she said, “Buzz off,” then the next woman would smile back.  

If you couldn’t get laid in Waikiki, you couldn’t get laid anywhere. It was a place where the beach boys really existed. They sauntered up and down the sands of Waikiki, surfed and showed off their beautiful tans, and rubbed coconut oil on the ladies. Holy smokes. Of course, this was all during the 70s before AIDS ever appeared on the scene. Still yet, DH thinks Waikiki is a dangerous (sic) place for a man. All those hungry women. In other words, paradise

All through my early years, I’ve thought of Waikiki as a tourist trap, with ticky tacky souvenirs, plastic flower leis, sanitized hula shows, Don Ho, throngs of Japanese tourists, and overpriced restaurants. To DH, it was a continuation of the free love of the 60s. I could doubt these stories of Waikiki, but I’ve seen too many pictures from DH’s wilder days.

Aloha and mahalo (thank you) for reading!

If you are commenting from the 
A to Z challenge, please include a link. 
I'm doing my best to keep up with commenting, but do sometimes get behind. Mahalo for understanding!

Thursday, April 25, 2013

V is for Volcano

Ah, here is where I am honoring the fiery lady who was not mentioned in the P post. Her name is Madam Pele and she is the volcano goddess of Hawaii. At least she’s not giving me the "stink eye” anymore – stink eye is the local term for a dirty look.

Original source from Wikipedia Commons: a lava vent from the Volcanoes National Park.
Photo by the USGS , cropped, then text added.
Of course Hawaii has a volcano goddess! Doesn’t every country have a volcano goddess? No? Well, why not? Oh, you don’t have volcanoes where you live? I see..

The volcano is a major force of nature in Hawaii, not just a cliché symbol of Hawaii. Having said that, I haven’t seen any vintage Hawaii tourist posters of big volcanoes, but maybe they’re around. And there are no Hawaiian tales or reference that I’ve heard about of virgins being sacrificed to the volcano. It’s Hollywood’s poetic license.
Kitschy Hawaii volcano ashtray souvenir. 
Hawaii’s volcanoes are shield volcanoes – they have a gentle slope, not a sharply angled cone. These volcanoes under the ocean spurted up lava that developed into mountains that eventually reached the ocean’s surface, kept growing, and became islands. The islands in the northwest of the Hawaiian island chain are older and more eroded by time.. those volcanoes have become craters or hills, those older islands have more coral reefs, white sand beaches, and less or no black sand beaches. The Big Island of Hawaii hosts two active volcanoes, Kilauea and Mauna Loa, and the landscape looks rocky and black in many places.

Maui, where I live, is a younger island. The last volcanic eruption occurred around 1790, but theoretically Haleakala, the name of the mountain and volcano, could erupt again.

Lava is a real threat in certain places on the Big Island. However, it's rare to hear of anyone dying in a lava flow or volcanic eruption. The lava tends to move very slowly. Even when it's "explosive," that's in areas far away from people. However, I did visit the beautiful black sand beach of Kalapana on a school trip, and years later, it was overrun with lava. 

The Hawaiian goddess Pele is the subject of many superstitions and legends, and she is especially regarded on the Big Island. Even if Pele’s existence contradicts one’s religious beliefs, locals still have respect for Pele. There are too many tales to retell, but some beliefs around lava and Madam Pele include:

Lava rock - can be reddish or gray. It's not always black. 

1. Don’t take lava home. Leave lava rocks in Hawaii. It’s considered bad luck to take Pele’s rocks. Every year, thousands of pounds of lava rock are mailed back to the Big Island from tourists who experienced “bad luck” from taking lava home.

2. If you see a solitary woman hitchhiker on the Big Island, give her a ride. It could be Madam Pele in disguise.

3. If you are visiting the volcano, leave Pele an offering. Common gifts include leis and food. I’ve also heard she likes Jack Daniels and other hard liquor.

Updated 4/26/13. I'm including some lava or volcano related posts by Big Island bloggers: 

Aloha and mahalo (thank you) for reading!

If you are commenting from the A to Z challenge, please include a link. 

I'm doing my best to keep up with commenting, but do sometimes get behind. Mahalo for understanding!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

U is for Ukulele

“My dog has fleas.”

That’s the classic refrain used to test whether an ukulele is in tune. Ukulele, by the way, kinda sounds like “oooh-coo-lay-lay” with fairly equal emphasis on all the syllables.  You can watch this video on youtube with two children tuning their ukulele to "My dog has fleas."

Source: Hyacinth via the English language Wikipedia [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/)], from Wikimedia Commons

Why fleas? Well, the ukulele got its name from the plucking of the strings that looked like fleas jumping. A very practical and descriptive name for an instrument associated with the romance and culture of Hawaii.

Interestingly enough, the Portuguese immigrants brought the instrument to Hawaii, where it was dubbed its new name and popularized in the royal court. As an aside, I wonder if the Galego village that I've been following on twitter plays instruments similar to the ukulele. 

The ukulele is the instrument taught in public schools all over Hawaii. I was tormented by my inability to play the ukulele, but through many years of therapy, can now talk about this publicly. There are even support groups for people who couldn't play the ukulele.  ;) wink! GRIN!

However, there are ukulele virtuosos, musicians who have made the ukulele do magical things. One of the best known ukulele players in the world is Jake Shimabukuro from Hawaii. I think you'll agree. This TED video is 7 minutes long, mind you, but well worth watching if you have the time, and you don't have to watch all the advertising at the end. 

Aloha and mahalo (thank you) for reading!

If you are commenting from the A to Z challenge, please include a link. 
I'm doing my best to keep up with commenting, but do sometimes get behind. Mahalo for understanding!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

T is for Tiki

Original image: Tiki image on Wikipedia Commons, by Jason Wehmhoener.
This is a larger than life tiki at a heiau or sanctuary on the Big Island of Hawaii.
I have adapted or remixed the original image. 

Tiki… that strange, almost classically kitschy Hawaiian souvenir that Uncle Bill brought home from his trip to Hawaii. It has funny eyes and a big open or clenched jaw, almost menacing but you can’t quite take it seriously.

Tikis are carved figurines, and are associated with various Polynesian creation myths. But to most people, they are stereotypical souvenirs one can buy from a souvenir stand or an ABC store.
Still yet, they are a symbol associated with Hawaii, even though the word tiki isn’t even Hawaiian. The letter T isn’t even in the Hawaiian alphabet! But the Hawaiians had their version of tiki sculptures, some of which are quite large.

Tiki souvenir stand at Maui Tropical Plantation.
As for smaller tikis, you can buy them all day long in Hawaii. The odd thing is, a lot of tikis sold in Hawaii are not made in Hawaii. I have a pet peeve about buying souvenirs that say Hawaii and are made on the other side of the world. So please, if you buy a tiki to sit next to the tiki from Uncle Bill, make it one that’s made in Hawaii. Ask the seller, although sometimes, ewww, the sellers don’t tell the truth, or buy it from someone who’s making it on the spot. 

A real tiki maker at work at Maui Tropical Plantation. 

Aloha and mahalo (thank you) for reading!

If you are commenting from the A to Z challenge, please include a link. 
I'm doing my best to keep up with commenting, but do sometimes get behind. Mahalo for understanding!

April - the Month of Too Many Festivals on Maui

April is the cruellest month, breeding. Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing. Memory and desire, stirring. Dull roots with spring rain. – T. S. Eliot

Maui had tremendous rains in March, but April has been dry. We’ve had days of Kona weather – when the wind blows from the East, from the direction of Kona on the Big Island, instead of our normal trade winds. Often there is no wind, and the air feels like a blanket, and the mosquitoes are buzzing disdainfully because there is no wind to blow them away. Living by the side of a gulch, which has a stream and stagnant water down below, I’ve been supplying the mosquitoes daily.

April has also been a month of a lot of festivals and community events. Not to belittle or undermine what’s going on in the rest of the world, but Maui continues to march out event after event after event. And it seems like that will continue through May, and probably every month this year. I've been so focused on the A to Z challenge, I haven't taken the time to highlight some local events. 

Earth Day: one of the last festivals in April on Maui.
The second Earth Day Festival or maybe it's the third?

This list will probably bore most people, unless you're just fascinated by all the happenings that can happen on Maui or are doing research. The list doesn't even include all the art happenings, events, sporting events, or performances.  

April 1st: Presentation about Maui’s Water hosted by Upcountry Sustainability.
Water Commissioner Jonathan Starr talks about water history, resource and regulatory issues on Maui.

April 1st: Tweet up with Brian Solis, a social media guru. 

April 3rd: TEDxMauiChange event at Seabury Hall, a video presentation hosted by local TEDx.

Outdoor town party with live music, booths, and food.

This popular festival keeps getting bigger and bigger. I’m sure it was in the thousands. Promoting local food, agriculture and a Taste of Maui Expo. A nice Ag Fest write up is by Maui Shop Girl.

April 8th: Presentation on Biofuel Agriculture by Kelly King, who co-founded Pacific Biodiesel.
Hosted by Upcountry Sustainability and SLIM.

A conference featuring information and workshops on health, gardening, and sustainability. Health for the individual and health for the soil and environment. "As above, so below."

Lahaina Town’s outdoor town party. Since Lahaina has a lot of art galleries, there is a big emphasis on art. Often there are contests or special activities for the night.

A family friendly event with Hawaiian cultural activities like lei making, kapa (Hawaiian barkcloth) making, live music, and booths.

April 13th: Imua Fantasia Ball
A gala fundraiser for Imua Family Services that received a lot of social media attention from fellow bloggers and tweeps. The link above is a write up by A Maui Blog. 

The biggest and most-celebrated annual art exhibit on Maui. Highly competitive. Artists stress out about this one.

April 15th: David Taylor, Director of MauiCounty’s Water Dept., does a Q and A session at Upcountry Sustainability regarding water management, ownership, and use by homeowners, farmers, small businesses and large corporations. Water is a hot topic on Maui.   

Hosted by Community Work Day, this greenhouse also provides all the starter plants “starts” for the school gardens on Maui. And, they host a volunteer workday every Wednesday from 10 am to 4 pm. 

People dress up in costume made of trash or recycled materials. Live entertainment includes an art of trash costume show. The Art of Trash exhibit opens. Not a lot of social media about this, but a worthwhile event. 

Makawao’s outdoor Friday party. Makawao is a cowboy/hippie/art town in upcountry Maui.

Apri 19th: A garden workshop by Patrick McManaway, one of the speakers at the Maui Body and Soil Conference.

A family friendly event with events for the kids, pony rides, bouncy castles, Haiku Historical Society exhibits, live music, flower arranging contest, etc. Fun even for adults.

First ever lu’au as part of the Ho’olaulea

April 20th – 21st: Hana Taro Festival
Another major Maui event, great for families. Featuring poi pounding, taro cooking, booths, entertainment and the famous taro breakfast the morning after, visits to taro farms and gardens.

April 20th – 21st: The rebuilding of the labyrinth at the Sacred Garden of Maliko.
This outdoor, Chartres style labyrinth was washed away in the floods in March.

Boycott Kellogg’s Honk and Wave protest event.

Open to the public. Best potluck on Maui. Great speakers. Free if you bring a dish to share.

April 24th: Labyrinth walk at the Sacred Garden of Maliko. The outdoor labyrinth should be completed by now, and ready for a public meditative walk on the full moon.

Kihei on the South Side of Maui offers live entertainment and activities as part of their town party celebration.

A monthly snorkeling meeting which keeps track of reef fish each month.

April 27th: Grand Opening of Ocean Vodka distillery in Kula
Solar powered, distillery featuring organic production of a local product, dedicated to sustainable and conscious business practices, free tours, music, entertainment.

April 27th: Exclusive and private concert by Makana at Honua Kai Resort as a fundraiser for Hawaiian Island Land Trust.

April 27th: Community Project Day at Auwahi District, for the Leeward Haleakala Watershed Restoration Partnership. Usually they have a once a month volunteer project in a rare native ecosystem.

April 27th: The Butterfly Effect
A non competitive stand up paddling event for women. It's a really big event on Maui, and the only sporting event I've listed. One of those things I'd love to do... one day.

April 27th: How to Grow and Save Seeds
Another seed saving workshop, this time at Hale Akua Garden Farm.

April 27th and 28th: Rain Garden Workshop
Geared toward K-12 educators, but I just got an email that says it's also open to the general public. And it's free. I'm not sure what's so, but there may be room for interested gardeners.

April 28th: Earth Day Festival
Another Earth Day Festival! This time on a Sunday. Lots of music, hippies, booths, activities.

May 1st: May Day is Lei Day in Hawaii.
Annual celebration at schools, some hotels, some parks.

May 2nd: Grand opening of the UH-Maui Community Garden.
The University of Hawaii, Maui Campus is celebrating the opening of its community garden.

I'm sure there are things I am still missing. But it does seem like there is an event every weekend, and possibly two or three. There’s no way to even participate in all these things. Luckily, Maui has lots of bloggers so often these events are covered by other people and I can participate vicariously. 

As April closes, I'm hoping that the month of May is a month of balance... and no more tragedies or disasters. 

My heart goes out to the folks in West Texas and Boston. For a moving blog post about the Boston Marathon, please visit 50 and Fabulous. Since I'm part of the A to Z challenge, I also encourage you to stop by and comment on an A to Z post by Alicia After 30 on the Texas Fertilizer Plant Explosion. Just to give some support to another blogger.